Friday, August 2, 2013

"Asylum Blackout" Movie Review – When the Lights go Out, the Inmates Will Rise

Runtime: 85 minutes
Release Date: May 4, 2012
Rating: NR
Director: Alexandre Courtes

It's almost impossible to make a living as a musician, which is why the three main characters in "Asylum Blackout" work at a local mental institution in Washington. They don't think it's odd in the slightest because they work behind locked doors and they rarely come into contact with any of the inmates. That all changes when a storm knocks out the power.

Something like this should have a simple resolution. The guards working should know how to round up the inmates, take them back to their cells, and lock them in safely. Instead, the guards don't really know how to do their jobs, making it clear that the asylum, which is again in Washington where it always rains, never thought it might lose power. Those guards demand that the three men help them take care of the inmates. You probably know what happens next. The inmates revolt, kill several guards, and all hell breaks loose.

"Asylum Blackout" shows that not all modern day horror films suck. The lead actors occasionally leave something to be desired especially the actor playing George. At the beginning of the film, he makes it clear that all he cares about is his music. He doesn't work late because he has to practice, and he even turns down his hot girlfriend's offer of sex because he wants to hit the studio. While it makes it believable that he would want to help the guards so he can get home, it doesn't explain why he doesn't really seem to care until the film is almost over.

Some of the scenes in the film are incredibly dark, and there is a fair amount of gore too. I read somewhere that during a screening, two people passed out because of the violence. I don't know if that's true or not, but I also don't think the film is quite that gory. It's better than a number of films made with larger budgets, and it does a good job of showing what filmmakers can do without using CGI.

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